Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness
Your Outcome: Celebrate your personal victories for the week so far and set yourself up for success for today, and for the rest of the week.
Happy Hump Day!
Today is a great day to checkpoint your progress against your 3 outcomes for the week, and re-adjust if necessary.
But first, let's recap where we are so far:
What we’re doing to do now is check how we’re doing against the week. This may impact what we choose to focus on today.
For example, here is the list my 3 Wins for this week that I want to accomplish:
I’ve already achieved the first two outcomes. As far as #3, it’s starting to feel more like a stretch goal. I also underestimated how much further I need to take #1, as additional requirements start to come in. But the more important thing I note is that my backlog of administrative activities has really ballooned out of control to the point where I need to put a solid dent in it today.
The Agile part here is about always learning, adapting, and improving based on what you learn, and what you want to achieve within the time you and energy you have available.
Next, I take a look at my calendar, and I jot down a few of the key items that stand out. I have a presentation first thing in the morning, followed by a few key meetings, and a few sprinkled in the afternoon. I notice that I have a few open blocks of time where I can focus on some of my heavy lifting.
With that in mind, let me list out some of the key activities that I have for today:
- Present my summary and highlights of the Intellectual Property development effort for the past 1/2 year, and the plan for the next six months - Review the budget plan and projected spend - Create additional slides for the Devices and Services story - Help one of my mentees with their career planning and next immediate moves - Meet with leads from each of the partner teams to validate our initial plan - Set up a series of meetings for next week with colleagues in town from around the world - Get detailed feedback from the first wave of results from the off-shore development team - Create a plan for scaling the delivery and self-paced training across the organization - Hunt down a few colleagues that I need help on a few technical details and drill-downs
I have a lot to do, but it’s not about quantity. It’s about impact. And, I need a simple set of “tests for success for today.”
Here’s what I choose as my 3 Wins for today to help me stay on track:
My presentation is already scheduled, so all I’m going to do is show up with a simple message that I want people to take away. I have a few stories to share, and if people want details, I have more than enough, so I’m set there.
What I need to do to pull off my other two wins is dedicate a few of my open time blocks in the afternoon to really focus on them. To nail my administrative backlog, I’m going to do as many things in a batch as possible, while I have my “administrative hat” on.
To nail the Devices + Services story and integrate the feedback, I’ll need to use some of the time slices earlier in my day to do some initial preparation. I’ll also need to set expectations with my team that I’ll be heads down while I work through it.
If I achieve these 3 Wins, I’ll have significant progress, and I’ll be on track for the most important things. I still have a lot of heavy lifting, but at least I have clarity of what my most important outcomes are.
With this in mind, I try to get a clear and simple picture of my day. My morning will be about presenting and attending meetings. I’ll use lunch as a chance to play out some ideas on the Devices + Services story. Then, my afternoon will be about turning ideas into slides, and nailing my administrative backlog.
I can see it min mind. And, as the saying goes, “What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve.” But mostly I like the peace of mind that comes from having clarity on my priorities and having a simple picture of my day that I can use a baseline.
Will my day get messy? You bet. In fact, I expect the unexpected. But will I be able to roll with the punches? Yes, a lot better now that I have a map of my day, and I know that’s truly important. Now, I can deliberately trade up for new opportunities, or respond to challenges more effectively as they come my way.
Today is a big hump in the week.
But, through some quick and simple planning and map, I’m already on top of it.
Day 1 of 7 Days of Agile Results - Sunday (Getting Started)
Day 2 of 7 Days of Agile Results – Monday (Monday Vision)
Day 3 of 7 Days of Agile Results – Tuesday (Daily Outcomes)